My first MFM visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yesterday was my first trip to the Maternal Fetal Medicine office.  I wasn't scheduled for an ultrasound so I went straight to the office to fill out mounds of paperwork.  I was early to arrive so I was very surprised when they called my name before I was done signing all the documents.

They weighed me and I still weigh exactly the same (with my clothes on) as I weighed before I got pregnant.  They told me that this was normal and that I shouldn't really expect to gain anything until the second trimester.  The nurse's assistant took my blood pressure, but I don't think that she did it correctly.  The band wasn't very tight around my arm and she didn't ask me to roll up my sleeve.  Then when she inflated it (while I was still trying to get situated on the table and she let some of the air out then re-inflated it 2 times.  She asked me if I had high blood pressure and I told her no, actually I usually have slightly lower blood pressure.  She kind of shrugged her shoulders.  I just had my blood pressure taken less than 2 weeks ago and it was normal so I am thinking it was operator error?  No one in my life has ever told me that I have high blood pressure!

Then the nurse came in to ask me a ton more questions, but suggested that I go pee in a cup first.  That is always a fun experience.  I won't get into too much detail, but suffice it to say, I have very bad aim.  The nurse had told me to leave the cup in the bathroom when I was done.  It felt really odd to just leave a cup of my pee on the shelf in there, but I did it, reluctantly.

Then came the rest of the questions from the nurse which ranged from drug and alcohol use to mental health to if we rented a house or owned.  The nurse was really nice and we had a bunch of things in common.  We were both from the same state originally (and in the same part of the state) and we both graduated from the same college.  It is a small world!  The nurse also asked me about my losses and when and how they occurred.  That is always a hard conversation to have especially since I am coming so close to the anniversary of my first D&C.

After the nurse went through all the questions she explained to me about the Downs Syndrome screening that I would have at 12 1/2 weeks, followed by another blood test at 15 weeks, and then a gender scan at 18 weeks.  I feel like I still tune out those types of events that are so far into the future because I still feel like I can't be certain that I will get there.  I think that is just my learned defense mechanism working.

After she explained some of the future appointments, she left me to wait for the doctor.  I figured I would be waiting for a while, but the doctor popped right in.  He was awesome.  I was at ease from the moment he came in.  Very no nonsense and extremely understanding of my situation.  The first thing he wanted to do was check on the baby with his incredibly awesome hand-held ultrasound machine that looked similar to the one in this picture.

So cool!
My heart skipped a beat when he put the wand down on my stomach, but he picked up the baby right away.  The baby was moving all over the place and its little heart was beating away.  So amazing to see that little baby again!  Immediately, I asked him if he thought the heart rate looked slow (always my biggest learned fear), and at first he looked at me funny and said it looked completely normal, then he realized why I asked and reassured me some more that it looked great.   He showed me a few different angles of the baby before he put the machine away.  I want one!

After that, we talked for a little while about my history and about this pregnancy going forward.  He debunked some myths and told me all soft cheeses were safe as long as they were pasteurized.  He emphasized me to eat pasteurized foods/drinks, if there was an option.  He also told me that anything that I feel like eating during the first trimester is fine.  He said there is no difference in babies where the mom's had trouble eating in the first trimester than those that didn't.  He actually said he feels better about pregnancies where the mothers are nauseous because it means a better connection between mom and baby.  That made me feel better.

We talked a little about my ongoing risk of miscarriage and he didn't think that it was different from any other normal pregnant person at this point.  We joked about statistics, but he mentioned a 96% chance at a take home baby at this point.  I know nothing is certain (EVER), but it made me feel a little more comfortable.

He told me to call their emergency number 24/7 if I ever felt like there was an issue and/or if I ever had bleeding of ANY kind.  They have a 24 hour prenatal care center at the hospital that is open to all the patients.  He told me to call them first if I was going out of town, but said he preferred his patients not travel.  I haven't told my husband this as we were planning on going on our postponed trip to Turks & Caicos in November.

After meeting with the doctor I scheduled my next scan and appointment for Oct. 2 and then headed over to get blood taken.  I have been tested for STDs and AIDs so many times in the last year because of all my other pregnancies, but I guess they are required to do it.  At least I have already tested NEG for Cystic Fibrosis, so I don't need that again.

Overall I thought the visit went really well.  I really like the doctor and the nurse.  I think they treated me well and were very understanding of my situation.  I really like that hand-held ultrasound gadget.  I know that even if I don't have a scan that they can check on the baby.  I am very happy with my decision to stay with the hospital, so far, and I am cautiously getting excited about meeting this little one in a few months.  :)

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8 Responses to “My first MFM visit”

  1. Great news! Congratulations!

  2. YESSSS! We are moving right along, lovely.

    That, definitely, sounds like a blood-pressure-test-giver error.

    96% is AWESOME. If someone told me I had a 96% chance of winning the lottery I would pee myself with glee.

    Yay for awesome doctors!

  3. I want that machine! Seriously, if pregnant again I may need to request one of those...maybe from Stork if she wins that lottery! Love that things are me hope too!

  4. I'm glad your appointment went well! That handheld is so cool!

  5. So glad your appointment went well and that you got to see baby again! I'm so excited for you =)

  6. Your doc (and the nurse, too) sound so great. I'm so glad he was reassuring but also no-nonsense. So cool that you got to see the baby wiggle around! Glad you're feeling good about your decision to stay at the hospital.

  7. This sounds like a great appointment (given the circumstances). Nothing better than having a connection with your doc and feeling as though they have your back in such a stressful time!